Welcome to Startups Weekly, a special focus on this week’s startup news and trends by a senior reporter and equity co-host. Natasha Maskerenhas To get this in your inbox, sign up here.
The zealots among us wake up: techies, it’s forecast season. It’s my favorite time of year, not because I’m a glutton for yarn or because I care deeply about why the worst of DTC is upon us — take a loud echo for the third year in a row, mind you — but because it’s good. Let’s all sit down and think about it.
Before I jump into what I think, here are some of my favorite prediction pieces and threads. Ganas VC Lolita TabQED investors Nigel Morris and ourselves.
OK, with that, here’s what I think will happen next year: the return of physical, five-day work weeks for tech workers. Before you jump in with all the differences and asterisks, let me explain why I believe this will happen.
In the year Throughout 2021, we talked about the pendulum of power swinging back to workers, led by the Great Resignation. Then, this year, the Great Layoffs became the Great Reset, as employers laid off large percentages of their workers as macroeconomic conditions changed. In the year As we enter 2023, many have predicted that the wave of layoffs will worsen before improving — a prediction that has been proven true by pre-holiday rounds including AirTable, Plaid and Comodo Health.
In many cases, the power is shifting back to employers – meaning those who have wanted to bring people into the office since the lockdown began may finally be empowered to do so. I’m not saying that every founder and CEO are secretly teaming up, but I think the domino effect is important here as well. If your biggest competitor starts working from the office to boost productivity, you might be tempted too. At the same time, if you’re an early-stage startup lucky enough to be hiring, you can still get the upper hand on recruiting if you tell employees they can work from anywhere.
My view is not just a hunch; That’s what I hear from the founders. A number of entrepreneurs say they are considering bringing back a mandatory in-person work culture in the new year due to concerns over remote work, some citing Elon Musk’s decision to bring Twitter employees back to work. Work (productivity or collaboration). It’s a little revealing, a little real. One founder told me over drinks and fancy snacks that they don’t worry about losing talent—because in-person people aren’t mission-driven when they’re starting out.
There’s a lot that makes that feeling even more complicated, especially when you think about how an active disease affects the immune-compromised and their family and caregiving responsibilities. I don’t think 100% of distributed companies will go into office procurement from day one, I think we’ll see more companies than you think start with a hybrid approach and I think a lot of hybrid companies will lean more towards in-person operations. Far away.
Don’t be shy, I know you all have thoughts on this As he told me on Twitter. Let’s end with some of my favorite tweets:
Let’s take a break from all this job hype and talk about other job rumors. As usual, you can find me on Substack and Instagram where I do more of my words and work. In the rest of this newsletter, we will talk about AI and open source – as well as employee gift guides.
AI art applications are having a moment – thanks to Lensa AI
Artificial intelligence is having (another) moment – which means that messy innovation is getting some appropriate, if not frenzied, attention. This week, TC’s Sarah Perez looks at the proliferation of AI art apps all over the App Store, jumping on the success of Lensa AI’s viral avatar generators.
Here’s why this is important: We will see many twinkling stars and real power in this space in the coming months. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman helped host ChatGPT (which runs all the interesting questions and answers you’re seeing on TechTwitter). He made a great point. But when he describes the technology, I think it can be measured in all areas:
“ChatGPT is incredibly limited, but enough to create a false sense of greatness in some things. It would be a mistake to rely on him for what is important now. It is a preview of development; We have a lot of work to do on robustness and authenticity.” Altman tweeted.
How open source is shaping the future of Twitter.
TC’s Paul Sawers is one of the most thoughtful writers I know, and if you read his latest book, “Decentralized Talk: How Open Source Is Shaping Twitter’s Future,” you’ll get what I’m talking about. Algorithmic transparency, encrypted DMs, and yes, even content moderation are recurring themes on Twitter right now — and will certainly shape its next chapter.
Here a Key excerpt:
What if Twitter decides to go all in on open source? Not just a recommendation algorithm or protocol, but a whole shooting match — codebase, clients ‘n all? It’s a Herculean task, especially with everything going on on Twitter these days.
It’s an unprecedented move to see a $44 billion private company open its entire code base to the world public. Just because Musk has a form of making radical moves doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Eight years ago, Musk tore up Tesla’s patent book when he promised not to sue any company that infringed on his patents. At the time, Musk said that accelerating electric car adoption and building the required infrastructure (eg, charging stations), was an ethos broadly aligned with open source.
Gift guide corner
Here are some fun and creative gift guides that the TC staff put together this week:
A few notes
Featured on TechCrunch.
Is ChatGPT ‘a virus released into the wild’?
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been arrested in the Bahamas.
Comodo Health, once tipped for a looming IPO, cuts staff amid CFO departure
The FTC is filing a lawsuit to block Microsoft from buying Activis.
As AI Proliferates Biotech, What Will Investors Look For in 2023?
Featured on TechCrunch+.
Why the SPAC path makes sense for Getaround
Okay now. Now we see more startups finding other startups.
There are many reasons to be excited about the Canadian venture market.
How to respond when a VC asks for a review of your startup
How much money should you raise for your startup?
So we’ve come to the end of our final discussion about this wild, plot twist of the year. I’m not going to lie, the past 12 months haven’t flown by. Instead, I felt important, complex — if not exhausting and confusing — on the tech news beat every day, in a way that really shaped the way I see this world. It’s still a work in progress, but I’d say 2022 is about finally landing the right resources, trust and network to realize that tech isn’t all rainbows and butterflies.
Brag about a second, this year there were some career highlights for me, from Interview with Kevin Hart To fight a multi-millionaire on Twitter. I’ve written about the challenges of rebuilding a startup and provided a window into a community-based company that’s ditching the community. I laughed at how full-circle technology was – and then found my predictions were getting incredibly old. We’ve grown Justice Wednesday into a thoughtful show that tries to answer one big question at a time, not all of them at once.
Beginners Weekly is now read by tens of thousands of you all – and it just got spicier!
I was more fascinated by how power and capital work in this world. That’s thanks to all of you who read and do our stories, the rocks waiting to be tipped over, the ones who tell us what angles we missed (and tell us how we can do better next time). ). Also thanks to my amazing team here at TechCrunch for whom I can’t say enough thanks.
Until the new year, I’ll be out of the office, maybe sipping cocoa, sneaking some Skyline chili and tucking into my mom’s chana masala. I wish you a happy and safe holiday season, and let’s talk resolutions when we get back, okay‽
In the meantime, I’d love for you to follow me anywhere besides Twitter. I’m on Substack, Mastodon and Instagram as @/natashathereporter.
Okay, you say hello first. No seriously. ok ok ok